Surf Wax America / by Ray Phung

Ryan headed into the surf with the Albino Ladybug surfboard.

This last weekend, I headed out to the Oregon Coast for a little surfing adventure.  Lauren and Erik go out surfing with some relative frequency, and I always tell them I want to tag along some day so I can take pictures.  So we finally made it happen!  Early Sunday morning, I piled into the back of their Mini with their pup Fu, and embarked a fun little day trip to the beach. 

Erik getting in a quick stretch before hitting some waves at Short Sands on the Oregon Coast

Our destination was Short Sands, a beach within in Oswald State Park.  Visitors have to hike their boards, gear, and picnic items through dense, lush old-growth forest.  As you walk, ancient doug firs and sitka spruce tower over you until suddenly the trees open up to a beach alcove surrounded by steep basalt cliffs.  It's quite a spectacular place.  Since I have not taken many beach pictures, let alone action shots in the water, I decided to schlepp my digital SLR, a long tele-zoom, and some extenders out with me.  I also brought along my Nikon FM2 to use up a roll from climbing the week before.  See if you can tell which ones are film and which are digital!

Most of my life I have spent landlocked, so my exposure to surfing at this point was pretty limited.   However, I did learn quite a bit of things.  For instance, I learned what the surfboard wax is actually used for.  I always thought you put it on the bottom of the board to make you go faster, which is obviously wrong.  From all my observing and picture taking, I also learned that surfing largely involves a lot of patience and some fairly precise timing.  I am sure there are some technical aspects that I am overlooking...

Brave (or foolish?) swimmers heading, shirtless, into the frosty waters of Oregon's rugged coast.

I obviously did not pick up a wet suit and board for this trip, though I think surfing is something I would like to try.  I definitely see the appeal of it.  Sitting out in a beautiful expanse of ocean, waiting patiently for the perfect wave to roll in.  And when it does, precisely timing your movements in order to become one with the wave as crashes and rolls in.  Plus it looks like a great arm and core workout. My only hesitation is that I am a terrible swimmer (I tend to sink...).  But perhaps this trip has inspired me to take a lesson or two to hone in on my swim technique, then perhaps giving this whole surfing thing a go.  

Anyway, here are my chosen photos for this trip.  Using a digital camera, I of course took around 200 pictures.  And of those, these are the twelve whittled the batch down to.  

The gallery photos were taken with a Canon 7D with a 70-200mm 2.8 lens with 2x extender.  The photos at the top of the post were taken with a Nikon FM2n with Kodak Ultra Max 400 film.  The title of this post is one of my favorite tracks by Weezer.